About Ingersoll & District Horticultural Society
Board of Directors of Ingersoll & District Horticultural Society
President – Janet McQueen
Past President – Richard Poortinga
1st Vice President – Marg Dykeman
Secretary – Sylvia Mayberry
Treasurer – Lorrie Lansborough
1 Year Directors –
- Linda Haycock
- Tena Poortinga
- Donna MacKenzie
- Linda Holtby
- Marie Hammond
2 Year Directors
- Patrick Simmons
- Sue McCann
- Don Rumble
- Rose Maloney
The expansion of horticultural societies across Ontario in the early 1900’s was linked to the broader social concerns of the day. A variety of reform movements sought “improvements” to the perceived ills of the “new” urban-industrial society. Such movements, common to much of the Western world, found voice in Ontario in movements ranging from women’s suffrage to prohibition to educational reform and the children’s aid societies.
There was also an effort to better conditions in towns and cities; the goal was a more efficient and safer, yet more “human”, community. One element of the broader urban reform movement was the effort to improve the appearance and layout of the community; variously termed “City Beautiful” or “Garden City”. These efforts originated in both the USA and Great Britain. Soon, Ontarians had taken such movements to heart and a provincially-funded and directed Horticultural Society of Ontario was one result.
In 1917 the Ingersoll Horticultural Society was organized with an initial membership of 169 persons. The founding President was Jno. G. Scott; the secretary was Mrs. F.W. Bowman. The IHS was quite vigorous, averaging $900 per annum (1917 – 1922) in “doing splendid work” (to quote the Horticultural Report of 1920) to the townscape.
A quote from the 1919 Annual Report states “The Directors take pleasure in addressing this open letter to the members and citizens generally asking you to unite with us this year in making this the most beautiful Town in Canada, which is quite possible if we get together as has been done in other affairs lately. The Community Spirit is alive, come in with us and help push.” That year they had an annual Flower Show in May and many plants and bulbs for sale. Membership was $1.00/year.
Membership slipped a little in the early 1920’s, a decline paralleling the introduction of “Officers’ Salaries”, but the Society had laid firm roots and managed to continue.
In 1938, W.H. Miles of Ingersoll won the Ontario Horticultural Society’s Silver Medal.
An active Society in Ingersoll became dormant in 1942 but was re-activated in 1952 with 272 members. By 1970 the numbers were down to 135 and today the number is even lower. The Society strives to gain more members while keeping the main idea alive.
Join the Ingersoll and District Horticultural Society and become a part of history.